They do not smell as once they did, in life.
There is no hint of mint or aniseed,
And nothing of their beauty now remains.
How sad the transformation, and the deed
That turned the elegance of blue-grey trees,
To useful timber, smoky firewood.
And yet each flame reminds me of the heat
Of June, and how they stood,
Behind the peonies,
With pink brown snake-like bark which peeled;
And how they graced the garden as they bent
And waved their upward curving limbs
In warm, remembered southern breeze.
And how the glorious summer flowers revealed
Their brightness rather better,
Because the strong light and cerulean blue,
Was tempered by their glaucousness:
A million leather leaves.